Sun, Nov 19, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Consumption
Taiwan tops `Asian Dragons'

Taiwan's private consumption accounted for 62.08 percent of its GDP this year, ranking it at the top of the four "Asian Dragons," the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management and Development (IMD) said in the IMD 2006 World Competitiveness Yearbook. Taiwan placed 18th in the world in terms of its private consumption ratio, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said, noting that private consumption in Taiwan has seen continuous growth in quality over the past few years. In the evaluation, Hong Kong was ranked 27th, while South Korea placed 45th and Singapore 57th, according to the IMD yearbook.

■ Copyrights

Court rules against Compal

A US jury on Friday found Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) guilty of infringing a Samsung patent and ordered the Taiwan-based computer company to pay US$9 million in damages. The suit filed by Samsung Electronics Co in federal district court in San Francisco accused Compal of using the South Korea company's patented keyboard technology in its notebook computers from April 1999 to March 2002. "We are very happy," lead Samsung attorney Mark Fowler said as members of his legal team hugged and exchanged "high-fives" after US District Court chief judge Vaughn Walker excused the jury.

■ Gaming

PS3 shopping turns violent

Shopping for the new Sony PlayStation 3 video game console proved dangerous on Friday, with a shooting, a mugging and a stampede marking Connecticut's opening day sales. At 3:15am, two armed robbers shot Michael Penkala, 21, of Webster, Massachusetts, outside a Wal-Mart store in Putnam, Connecticut, as he waited in line to be one of the first to own the machine, police said. Hours after Penkala's shooting, police said that a 24-year-old man was mugged by as many as seven teenagers after buying a PlayStation at a mall in Manchester. Meanwhile, in Meriden, some in a crowd of roughly 700 people who were lined up outside a Best Buy store on Friday morning tried to shove their way in.

■ Music

Universal sues MySpace

Universal Music Group on Friday sued MySpace.com, claiming the online social-networking hub illegally encourages its users to share music and music videos on the site without permission. In the lawsuit, filed in US District Court, Universal Music contends MySpace, a unit of News Corp, attempts to shield itself from liability by requiring users agree to grant the Web site a license to publish the content they upload to the site. Users, however, have no such authority over works they don't own.

■ Publishing

Reader's Digest okays bid

The Reader's Digest Association, the company responsible for publishing some of the world's best-read magazines, agreed to a US$1.6 billion takeover offer on Thursday. Reader's Digest, an 84-year-old company that publishes the pint-size magazine, agreed to be acquired for US$1.6 billion by investors led by Ripplewood Holdings. The offer is a 43 percent premium over the company's August stock price, when shares bottomed at US$11.83. The investor group, which includes Merrill Lynch Capital and the J. Rothschild Group, will also assume US$800 million in debt, bringing the total purchase to US$2.4 billion.

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